Family Tradition from the Heart: Valentine's Day Fondue

Family customs are as quirky and wonderful as families themselves. Here's how one North Carolina clan celebrates together.
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A few years ago Michelle and Bill Morton realized that going out for a Valentine's Day dinner wasn't as much fun as it used to be. It was hard to feel romantic while worrying about the impact a fancy meal, not to mention hiring a babysitter for their three sons, would have on the household budget. So the Raleigh, North Carolina, couple (she's a professional organizer; he's a government IT director) decided to make Valentine's Day a family occasion.

These days, instead of stepping out on February 14, Michelle and Bill step into their kitchen and cook up a family favorite: fondue. The boys help with the prep work and when all the ingredients are assembled, the five of them gather around a communal pot, dipping tortellini, bread, and veggies into a savory cheese sauce while they talk and laugh. In between the main course and dessert (chocolate fondue, with fruit, pound cake, and marshmallows for dunking), the kids exchange heart-shaped messages. "Each boy has to write what he likes best about his brothers," Michelle says. "We try to focus on the reason for the holiday, which is love."

Continued on page 2:  Fondue Recipes


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